We only live 0.5 miles away from Alex’s school. Before he started Kindergarten, I had grand ideas of walking to school with him while pushing the littler two in the stroller, dogs in tow. Ah, what a glorious morning walk that would be!
We walked to school a few times when it was warm, but not as often as I thought we would. The dogs got tangled up very easily, C didn’t want to be pushed in the stroller, Alex complained. It was a mess.
Over the weekend, I decided we needed to start walking to school more often and I learned a lot from our first walk on Monday.
1. I have no patience: Like, absolutely none. Before we even left the house, I was frantically trying to get everyone ready to go and losing it on Christian because he kept taking his mittens off then asking me to put them back on. I had to fight back the urge to yell at him to just keep them on in the first place! It wasn’t pretty, I admit it. But, it forced me to REALIZE this and now I know I need to work on it. It forced me to remember that they are just babies. Even though I think they should know how to move faster, doesn’t mean they actually do know how to move faster. Especially if they don’t particularly want to move faster. You know what I’m talking about mamas? I know you do.
They also walk very slow. Have you seen the meme of the sloth? Well, here is actual footage of my kids walking to school. I’m tellin’ ya…
2. We need to leave 10 minutes earlier than I think: As I stated above, my kids like to walk really slow (see: sloth). I wanted to enjoy the walk with them and I was rushing them the whole time. Nobody was relaxed and it wasn’t that fun. I want them to be able to explore their surroundings while we are walking; that is the whole point in being outside! An extra ten minutes will be plenty of time for them to pick up leaves, touch the bushes and watch the cars going by without me feeling like we are going to be late and thus, yelling at them to run to school. I don’t want to be that mom.
3. I need to slow down: Watching my children walk, I realized that I am always rushing them and myself from one place to the next without enjoying the process. I drop them off really quick at school so I can get to my errands, work or playdate before I have to pick them up again in 2 1/2 hours. I always feel the anxiety of rushing out the door and rushing to this place and that. It doesn’t make for a very calm morning and I don’t want them to think I am trying to hurry them out the door and away from me. That is not why I’m doing this mom thing. I want to be there with them and for them and I think taking this small step (no pun intended) of walking to school will help me to chill out a bit and learn to enjoy the process of getting from one place to the next.
4. We probably look insane: We hadn’t even left the neighborhood before the dogs were barking maniacally at other dogs coming at them and Christian falling over and me trying not to tumble backwards onto Madi who was on my back. It was a hot mess. Christian runs in front and Alex lags behind the whole time. Madi is screaming on my back sometimes and flailing. I’m sure we look like a walking circus! But, we are out there and doing it and I’m sure it will get better once everyone is used to walking to school, right??? If nothing else, it is fun to look back and laugh at how we must look to other people. Hopefully we add some giggles to people’s mornings!
5. Alex is a little lazy: Before we left the house, he was already trying to pawn his backpack off to his little brother. He was saying there was no way he was going to be able to carry it the whole way to school, it was so heavy. (To be clear, he literally has a small snack box in his backpack and that is all). He also likes to complain about walking places saying it’s just too far and his legs are tired. I’m thinking this will be a good exercise (again with the puns!) for him to realize what his body is capable of. He’s been riding in the stroller for 5 1/2 years and we’ve gotten away with it because he’s pretty small, but no more! Walkin’ feet for that dude from now on!
6. It gives us more bonding time: I get to hold hands with my boys! I know for a fact that isn’t going to last so I want to soak it up while I can! They take turns running ahead but whoever is walking next to me, wants to hold hands and I am a-okay with that. It makes time freeze for just a second when I look down and see their little hand it mine. It reminds me how little they are and how precious this time is with them. I get to take my time giving Alex and hug and a kiss before he heads into school. I get to remind him to be kind and helpful and listen well while he is at school. Then, I get to walk all the way back with just Christian and Madi (& the dogs). Christian gets time to talk my ear off which is what he loves doing most and I have no excuse to not listen to him. And you know what, he’s starting to be able to have conversations and I love it. He gets a chance to hold Madi’s hand while she’s in the baby carrier. It’s the sweetest thing and I love that time with the two of them.
Overall, even though our first walk was a bit of a disaster, we will continue to walk to school 3 days a week (C has school the other two days and we wouldn’t be able to make it on time if we walked). It gives me an excuse to slow down and enjoy my kids before school and honestly, since we are so close to school, walking home and then getting on to our errands and playdates is perfectly fine. I can learn a little more about them and allow them to get some energy out at the start of the day. And now that I’ve learned a few things, it can start to run smoothly. I’m hoping it just falls easily into our routine and we stop thinking about it all that much!
Are you able to walk to school where you live? Do you love it?